This week’s edition of our Travel Traditions series covers one of the different shopping traditions we have when visiting the islands. Every year, in preparation for our annual luau tradition, we like to find a new set of Aloha wear to add to our collection. We actually started this tradition on our honeymoon almost 5 years ago, and it’s been a part of our trips ever since.
Our First Set
I might get scolded for sharing this first photo, but it was taken way back in ’04 on our honeymoon to Oahu and Kauai. It was a pretty old camera at the time, so you can’t really tell that matching set is a deep navy blue color and not black. While we never made it to a luau that year, this photo was taken on the last day of our trip. Wearing our Aloha wear while departing Kauai on our first trip to Hawaii only helped a little.
For those that might not know, there actually is a difference between Aloha wear and a Hawaiian shirt. Aloha wear is a term reserved for shirts and dresses with these easily recognized tropical patterns, and meet the requirement of being made and sold on the islands of Hawaii. Attire with similar patterns that are made elsewhere or are exported from Hawaii to the mainlands are considered only to be Hawaiian shirts. Sound silly? Ask someone from Hawaii and see what they think.
Our Favorites – Maui ’06
These red ones are actually our favorite, and they have an interesting story. First, you’ll notice that they don’t match. The main reason is that, upon further examination, Cindy’s dress is not a traditional Aloha wear dress. No, she actually found it at Wet Seal at the Old Lahaina Center in Lahaina
She really liked that dress, and who was I to say no? Seeing that it was my duty to find a matching shirt for myself, I spent almost an entire day going from Whalers Village
to the different stores at the Lahaina Cannery
and finally finding this one in a small shop in Lahaina. All this while Cindy sat by the pool and enjoyed the sunshine for most of the day. You’d be surprised how many stores and how many shirts I had to look at before I finally found what that matched as close as these did.
The Latest – Maui ’08
We picked this set up on the first day of shopping this past April, and we weren’t even looking yet. Just strolling along Front Street, we spotted the white dress hanging in the doorway of one of the shops and immediately knew it was the one we wanted. We really like this set, too. The white palm trees shown here (thanks to the camera flash) aren’t really that visible from afar, and we liked the very simple floral pattern as opposed to the “all over” design of our other sets.
And we’re hoping we can find a replacement shirt for me this upcoming trip. You see, I can no longer wear any of the Aloha shirts that I currently own, which believe it or not is a good thing. Since this photo was taken last April, I’ve been on a bit of a health kick and, as a result, have dropped from a shirt size XXL all the way down to a M. Should make a good before-and-after photo. :)
The Travel Traditions Series here at the blog features our habits and rituals that we have for various aspects of our frequent trips
to the island of Maui. Getting to know the island so well after all these years, having a few traditions adds a little continuity to our visits, while still giving us so much flexibility to enjoy many new things each trip.
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